I have one more week until my next follow-up appointment. I’m trying hard to not get ahead of myself (if I have no unrealistic hopes, then I can’t be horribly disappointed) and simply focusing on the fact that next Monday will bring an evaluation and something different.
In the last 10 days, I’ve seen amazing improvement. First, I was able to put enough weight on my foot to get up and down the stairs upright. I was able to use only one crutch for balance, and my foot seemed to be swelling less and less when I had it down. By the end of last week, I was beginning to lurch around for short periods of time without any crutches. Now, I’ve lost the crutches altogether, though I’m really not walking all that well. My leg does hurt quite a bit after just a little exercise, but it’s so much better than before (standing still is absolutely the worst thing to do by far) and pain has become manageable without drugs of any sort, which is a huge relief.
The hurt has moved from my foot to my leg. I think the process of surgery originally banged and bruised up my foot so badly that it overshadowed the actual break. The amount of blood that pooled in my heel was crazy, and the swelling alone was very painful.
To give you an idea…my boot was so tight and restrictive at first that the way it simply touched my foot was bad; there was hardly enough room inside for the extra strips of padding that I needed as additional buffer against the hard metal support strips on the sides of the boot. Now, it’s almost too loose — my foot slides around inside, even with the extra padding I’ve still got in there — and pieces that once barely met over the top of my foot are now wrapped over the top of each other and tucked down, entirely too big.
Now what hurts is the bone. My ankle aches and throbs when I’ve been on it too long, and there’s a spot up near my knee that often hurts; why, I don’t know. It’s become kind of a habit to sit and rub it; it’s just at the top of my boot and easy to get to. It seems like long car rides and colder weather make it ache.
My incision is good. It appears that all the stitches have dissolved and it’s healing nicely. There are a few weird tingly dead spots along it and on some random places on my other ankle, which has been surprisingly painful all throughout all of this. The bruise on my heel is almost gone, though I had a new spot pop up when I got off the crutches.
Yesterday, the kdis and I went to the French Place house to do yard work. It felt so good to be outside in the sun, doing something remotely physical. They worked on the heavy stuff while I sat and did some light gardening; I stood, pruned, and directed. Even so, I over- extended myself — just walking on uneven surfaces wears me out. We spent two hours; I came home and crashed the rest of the day, unable to move out of my chair, exhausted, icing to help with the pain. I feel like such a weenie.
My brother-in-law, who had a very similar break some years ago, told me not to expect much when I get out of the boot, that it will take a lot longer than I think to walk normally again. My hope for Monday is that I can begin to put weight on my foot outside of the boot and that I can do some kind of physical activity (swimming, riding a stationary bike, getting on the elliptical trainer) and start physical therapy.
Every day does show a little bit of improvement and I know I’ve been lucky. I met a woman on Sunday who broke her ankle (somewhat differently but, oddly, on almost the same day) and was in a cast. Thank goodness I skipped the cast! All those years of calluses that are coming off my foot are at least getting exfoliated away (it aint pretty). If I’m out of the boot, I’m treating myself to a pedicure and a bath and a shower without help. Those are all surely things to look forward to!